Olivier Véran, the meteoric rise of a macronist neurologist

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Olivier Véran, appointed Minister of Health on Sunday, is a 39-year-old neurologist, deputy for Isère and early supporter of Emmanuel Macron, rapporteur since January of the organic component of pension reform.

The Isérois, doctor of the CHU of Grenoble, does not intend to make old bones in politics but he accepted the heavy task of taking over a ministry under the pressure of the angry hospital staff and the threat of epidemic of the new coronavirus, after the departure of Agnes Buzyn announced on Sunday.

This early macronist will be able to benefit, at least initially, from his status as a doctor, as Bernard Kouchner, Philippe Douste-Blazy, Nora Berra, or Agnès Buzyn did before him.

So a young substitute for Geneviève Fioraso (PS), he made himself known when he entered the Palais Bourbon in 2012 when it joined the Ayrault and Valls governments until 2015.

He met Emmanuel Macron that same year when the Macron law was discussed in the Assembly. And joined the En Marche movement! from its creation, to become the health referent of the presidential candidate.

Seduced by the “overcoming of divisions and political politics” of the then Minister of the Economy, the neurologist has long aspired to “make the shift to prevention”, poor relation of health policies in France.

At the Palais Bourbon, Olivier Véran was also the rapporteur of the prevention component of the Health Law, before becoming the unavoidable general rapporteur of the Social Affairs Committee in 2017.

He is also Regional Advisor of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes since 2016 and was appointed, in January, rapporteur for the organic part of the pension reform, that on financial balance.

– “The heart on the left” –

This affable politician, born in 1980 and from the Socialist Party, says he has “the heart on the left”.

Already tipped to occupy the Health Morocco in 2017, Olivier Véran was qualified at the time as “hardworking”, “sympathetic”, “very good connoisseur of the hospital” by Jean-Paul Ortiz, president of the CSMF, first union of liberal doctors (generalists and specialists).

The interested party defines himself as “energetic”, seeing in it both his main quality and his main flaw.

Former vice-president of the Inter-Syndicat national des internees (ISNI) during his medical studies in Grenoble, he financed his training by working as a nursing assistant, particularly in geriatrics.

“Fallen in love with the organization of the healthcare system”, he followed a master’s degree in health management and policy at Sciences Po Paris (with a dissertation on medical deserts) in parallel to his clinicat. At this time, the young head of the vascular neurology clinic also developed a day hospital for outpatients.

It is by visiting this structure that Geneviève Fioraso identifies the enterprising practitioner and offers her to be her substitute in 2012.

“I had never been politically involved, even if I have my sensitivity obviously”, he had then told AFP, presenting himself as “really progressive, very European convinced, opposed to inequalities”.

Speaking English and Spanish, married to an obstetrician-gynecologist with whom he has two children, Olivier Véran does not intend to play politics for more than one or two terms: “There is no question that my wife is sacrificing her career!” this defender of non-cumulation.

And then, “the political class is not liked; when I wear my white blouse, I have a confidence rating of 84%, when I put on the tricolor scarf, it drops to 6%! You have to renew your life political and be closer to the people, “says this amateur pianist.

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